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Family history sucess story: 78 Sqd RAF: Operation Crossbow info wanted please?

Article about: Sorry I missed his name! Here is the pic of my relative's grave, care of Dirk in Germany. Cheers, Ade.

  1. #1

    Default Family history sucess story: 78 Sqd RAF: Operation Crossbow info wanted please?

    Hi Guys, some of you will have read that in the past few weeks I have been researching my family tree. Well today I have discovered a 2nd cousin 1x removed who was KIA flying as a Pilot Officer (Flight Engineer). He was killed in Sept 1943 with No 78 Sqd RAF. Now, I think it is possible he earlier took part in the big raid on Pennemunde.

    Does anyone has access to 78 Sqd records? I know a CD of the Operational Record book was produced.

    Cheers, Ade.

  2. #2

    Default re: Family history sucess story: 78 Sqd RAF: Operation Crossbow info wanted please?

    Don't know if this is of any help but there is a poster on here that was with the 78 Sqd.
    Otherwise there is a bunch of info doing a search. They sure dropped a ton (s) of bombs and mines.

    RAF 78 Squadron - World War 2 Talk

    Rudy

  3. #3
    mjw
    mjw is offline
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    Default re: Family history sucess story: 78 Sqd RAF: Operation Crossbow info wanted please?

    Hello Ade,

    The Great Raids - Peenemunde, by J Searby lists Halifax JD170 as flying with 78 Squadron on this raid with the following crew:

    W/O W. Smith
    P/O A Paul
    Sgt. A. Cocking
    Sgt. J. Norman
    Sgt. G. Hickling
    Sgt. R. Smith
    F/Sgt. J. Wilkins.

    This is possibly a coincidence as his position in the listing suggests Wop/AG (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) and not Flight Engineer. Your relative is also killed as a Pilot Officer a month later. Not impossible, but unlikely to be the same man in my opinion.

    Kind regards, Malcolm.

  4. #4

    Default re: Family history sucess story: 78 Sqd RAF: Operation Crossbow info wanted please?

    Hi Guys, thanks for the replies. I will keep digging on this.

    I thought you might like to see this.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    mjw
    mjw is offline
    ?

    Default re: Family history sucess story: 78 Sqd RAF: Operation Crossbow info wanted please?

    Hello Ade, I am ammending my opinion regarding your relative and now think that he did flying on both the Peenemunde and Hannover raids.

    Seaby's book may have made a mistake with the order of crew positions for this aircraft? I have enclosed the following which is listed in RAF Bomber Command Losses – 1943 by W R Chorley. Chorley states: 27-28 September 1943. Op: Hannover. 78 Squadron Halifax II LW230 EY-G.

    F/L W B Smith RNZAF
    P/O G E Hickling
    F/L G G Paul
    P/O A B Cockling
    Sgt J Norman
    Sgt R A Smith
    F/S J S Wilkins RAAF.

    Take Off 1905 Breighton. All are buried in Hannover War Cemetery. F/L Paul's parents lived in the Argentine at Temperley, Buenos Aires. Chorley's crew lists follow a hierarchy – which would confirm P/O Hickling as the Flight Engineer.

    Kind regards, Malcolm.

  6. #6

    Default re: Family history sucess story: 78 Sqd RAF: Operation Crossbow info wanted please?

    Hi Malcolm, thanks for your reply. Great stuff!

    He was a relative care of my Grandma. (My Dad's Mum.) I have spoke to my Dad about him but he does not recall him, but he was only aged 9 at the time. But my Mum recalls my Grandma speaking about his wife.

    Since doing my family tree I have found several forgotten ancestors with interesting military records. He is the only one who served in WW2 so far, the rest being WW1, including an MM winner, and a couple from the 1870's, one who fought in Afganistan.

    Cheers, Ade.

  7. #7

    Default re: Family history sucess story: 78 Sqd RAF: Operation Crossbow info wanted please?

    This 1943 newspaper is from my collection.

    B.J.Schollum is my Great Uncle.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8

    Default re: Family history sucess story: 78 Sqd RAF: Operation Crossbow info wanted please?

    Hi, was your Great Uncle in this Sqn or took part in this raid too?

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  9. #9

    Default re: Family history sucess story: 78 Sqd RAF: Operation Crossbow info wanted please?

    Actually since I posted this thread, I have been in contact with a German researcher who has provided me with maps and photos of my 2nd cousin's crash site and eyewitness account, photo of his grave, etc.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  10. #10

    Default re: Family history sucess story: 78 Sqd RAF: Operation Crossbow info wanted please?

    Quote by Adrian Stevenson View Post
    Hi, was your Great Uncle in this Sqn or took part in this raid too?

    Cheers, Ade.
    Hi Adrian, Yes he was. I'm not sure if you saw it but 'Smith' is on that news paper.


    Aircraft Type: Stirling MK I
    Serial number: EF 495
    Radio call sign: OJ – R
    Unit: 149 Sqn RAF
    Summary:
    Stirling EF 495 of 149 Sqn RAF took off from RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, at 8.05pm on 27th September 1943, to attack Hanover, Germany. On the way back a signal was recieved reporting position as 52.47N/02.43E. At 12.57am on the 28th a weak distress signal was received indicating the aircraft was flying very low over the North sea.Nothing further was heard and the aircraft failed to return to base.

    Crew:
    RAAF 413386 Flt Sgt Hotchkis, G S Captain (Pilot)(Killed)
    RAF Sgt Crowe, J W (Navigator)(POW)
    RNZAF Flt Sgt Schollum, B J (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)(killed)
    RAF PO Bevan, C J W (Air Bomber)(killed
    RAF Sgt Tweedie, D F (Flight Engineer)(POW)
    RAF Sgt Lyons, P (Air Gunner)(POW)
    RNZAF Sgt Andrews, C B (Air Gunner)(Killed)

    Sgts Crowe, Tweedie and Lyons all of the RAF became POW’s, and in later statements at Luft III prison camp (The Great Escape) they reported that when they abandoned the aircraft the skipper was alive and well in the flying aircraft, and he endeavoured to try and fly the aircraft back to the UK. German documents later established that the aircraft crashed near Lingen and all the
    remaining crew members were killed.

    Post war searches revealed no trace of the missing four members and it was recorded that they had lost their lives at sea.

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